Jumpstart Philadelphia has been changing the lives of preschool children since it first came to Temple University in 2005. Over 600 Temple students have been trained since then and work closely with children, ages 3 to 5, in the North Philadelphia community.
Jumpstart core members are in 11 different classrooms at 7 different preschools in Temple’s surrounding areas. They develop connections with these children over the school year and enjoy seeing them grow.
Their curriculum focuses on helping children develop language and literacy skills to prepare them for kindergarten. Core members organize activities and lesson plans for each classroom session. They see improvements in children’s learning from the beginning to the end of the year and are proud of their progress.
“Some of these kids come in not knowing any of the letters in their name and then by the end of the year they may know all their letters or they may only know one, but knowing that one is still crucial and important. And seeing them grow from October to the end of the year is the most amazing thing ever,” Jumpstart core member, Christine Janak said.
Parents are grateful for the time Jumpstart members spend with their preschoolers. They see first hand the impact the program has on their children and continue on with the teaching after class time is over.
“One of the main things they’re getting is that reading is fundamental. They absolutely love books so every night we make sure we incorporate reading and it’s all because of the Jumpstart program,” Leslie Diaz, mother of two Jumpstart students, said.
Jumpstart also organizes events throughout the year to promote reading and help bring the community together. Previous activities include Read for the Record and Jumpstart for a Day.
You don’t have to be an education major to join Jumpstart, spring recruitment is currently enrolling new members, head over to jstart.org to apply.